I read a post by ‘MinimumCover’ today, a serving police constable and a blogger. It’s very clear that he wants to do his best to protect the communities he serves under difficult circumstances often with insufficient kit and resources. He’s also a brilliant story-teller and although, anonymous, a likeable human being doing a tough job.
Today, he writes about his frustration with a domestic violence case where, in his words, the “violent bully” wasn’t prosecuted because the victim and family members dropped the case. He clearly wanted to see justice done and he was hugely dissapointed that it wasn’t. But his conclusion is for me, a curious one. He says:
“If you call Police to report that your husband, wife or other family member is attacking you please expect Police to deal with what is reported”…….”If you have no intention of allowing anyone to investigate or prosecute what you are reporting then, with the greatest of respect, don’t call!”
This raises 3 questions:
1. If you are being punched in the face by your husband, should you be expected to weigh up the pros and cons of whether or not you intend to go ahead with the prosecution and then make a rational, informed and final decision before you call 999?
2. Is at the forefront of your mind at every stage of the case as it progresses a) the costs to the police system and the personal satisfaction of one police constable OR b) do what I need to do to keep myself safe?
3. What is stopping the police system from dealing with the presenting (and hidden) demand placed on it?
There are some clues in his piece. What do you think?